The Leavey Awards, administered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to reward educators across the country who develop innovative ways of teaching students about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship.
“It’s a great validator,” Cumpstone says. “I share this with Dr. [Rebecca] Jaroff and Dr. [Carol] Cirka in establishing a really good foundation to provide unique opportunities for students here at Ursinus. The award presents an opportunity to showcase all that we do at the U-Imagine Center and the college, and the impact it has on students.”
The U-Imagine Center was established in December 2013 to develop and sustain a campus-wide entrepreneurial spirit. Jaroff, an associate professor of English, is faculty director of the U-Imagine Center. Cirka, a professor emeritus of business and economics, is founding director and advisor to the center.
Cumpstone, who earned her MBA from LaSalle University, came back to Ursinus in 2016 after establishing herself as a successful Montgomery County entrepreneur with more than 25 years of leadership experience. As entrepreneur-in-residence, she teaches entrepreneurship courses and manages co-curricular programs and events through the U-Imagine Center, including UC Digital Spark, a summer program that partners Ursinus students with area businesses with the aim of honing marketing and data analytics skills, and the BEAR Innovation competition, in which students pitch original business startup ideas for a chance to win prize money.
This year’s class of Leavey Award recipients will be honored at a dinner and award ceremony on Thursday, July 18, on the campus of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. In four decades, more than 600 teachers from elementary school to college have been honored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. —By Ed Moorhouse